Austin Cabaret Theatre
Caution: Cabaret Crossing
After more than a decade Downtown, Austin Cabaret Theatre is moving uptown ... or at least north. That's right: You'll no longer be able to get your steady diet of Broadway belters and standards-slingers in the heart of the city the way you have since Artistic Director Stuart Moulton began bringing the likes of Elaine Stritch, Eartha Kitt, Carol Channing, and Ann Hampton Callaway to town in 2001. Now Moulton is putting his act together and taking it on the road – specifically MoPac. Between Steck and Research Boulevard, Sterling Affairs Catering and Event Planning has taken over the space previously occupied by Harold's Outlet Barn – and known to local old-timers as The Barn restaurant or the clubs Dallas or the Edge of Town – and reinvented it as a 13,000-square foot special-events facility ideal for weddings, banquets, and meetings. ACT will set up shop in the main ballroom of the venue, now rechristened Shoal Crossing. Moulton expects to seat 120 people – about the same number he did in ACT's most recent home, the Long Center's Kodosky Lounge, but in a slightly roomier arrangement. Patrons will lose that killer view of the Austin skyline from the Kodosky's curved glass wall – and oh, how that upped the level of urban elegance for a cabaret in Central Texas – but they'll gain what promises to be a more convenient parking setup.
Breaking in the new space is an old friend of ACT's: Sam Harris, whose previous appearance eight years ago earned a nomination for an Austin Critics Table award. The Tony-nominated, multimillion record-selling Harris is like a double-triple threat onstage: actor/singer/dancer/songwriter/writer/director. He's been busy of late cooking up a new act, Schmooli and Minnooli, with old pal Liza Minelli; working to bring a musical about Al Jolson to Broadway; and promoting marriage equality with his self-penned anthem "My Reclamation." There appears to be nothing Harris can't do. Here's hoping this new venue can contain all that energy.
Sam Harris will perform Thursday and Friday, Jan. 26 & 27, 8:30pm, in the Main Ballroom at Shoal Crossing, 8611 N. MoPac. For more information, visit www.austincabaret.org.